Werther at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Directed by François-Xavier Roth
Werther at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Until April 6, 2025

French surtitled in English (See the page)

Location

Théâtre des Champs-Élysées
15 avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
Capacity 1905 seats

Duration

2 h 10 min

With intermission


Details

Opera

For all audiences

In French with French and English surtitles


HIGHLIGHTS: WERTHER

Ah... love! A cruel mistress, yet the lifeblood of many. What better way to explore the torments of love than via operatic format, and what better venue for extraordinary performances than the illustrious Théâtre des Champs-Élysées?

 

Created in 1892, Werther is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet, based on the novel of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This opera stands out from the lyric art repertoire for its profound psychological dimension and its exploration of love’s highs and lows with sensitivity and artistic dynamism.

 

Massenet is revered for the great psychological finesse imbued into his musical works, brilliantly conveying the intense emotions of the characters via precise notation and technical excellence. The melodies, often melancholy and airy, reflect the character of Werther's tormented state of mind and the bittersweetness of his unattainable love.

 

Werther is distinguished by its refined orchestration, which plays an important role in the atmosphere of the work. Leitmotifs, associated with characters and feelings, create a thematic unity and reinforce the dramatic impact of the score. Beyond mere musicality, the opera is also innovative in its structure, with shorter recitatives and fuller arias allowing the action to flow more smoothly and the emotions to be expressed directly towards the audience.

 

In all, Werther is a distinctive work within the operatic repertoire, offering a poignant and unique exploration of the torments of love and the fragility of coexistence. Massenet's music offers great beauty and sensitivity, an auditory contribution that renders this opera a timeless masterpiece. Singing of the cruelty of love and sublimating the composer's beautiful arias are tenor Benjamin Bernheim and mezzo-soprano Marina Viotti. Conductor François-Xavier Roth leads his ensemble Les Siècles. A reunion of exceptional talents upon a world-famous stage… what’s not to love?

SYNOPSIS OF WERTHER

This year, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is the place to see Jules Massenet's magnificent opera Werther. The music will bring tears to your eyes with its palpable emotion, which complements the profound nature of the story. Allow us to familiarise you with this doomed narrative…

 

Werther offers a poignant and drama-filled love story embroiling three main characters: Werther, a sensitive and passionate young poet, Charlotte, a sweet and endearing woman torn between forbidden love and marital duty, and her fiancé Albert, a respectable and composed man, unable to understand the passion for Werther that consumes his soon-to-be bride.

 

The plot takes place in 18th-century Germany and follows the evolving relationship that entangles these three characters. Werther, blinded by his love for Charlotte, cannot accept her engagement to Albert. Plagued by insufferable fits of jealousy and despair, he is driven to madness and, ultimately, the utmost act of self-sacrifice.

 

Massenet depicts the complex personalities of his characters with finesse. Werther is the embodiment of exaggerated romanticism, evident in Charlotte’s confusion between her feelings and her social and familial obligations. Albert, for his part, represents reason and stability, but is unable to fill Charlotte's emotional void. Will societal expectations or true love prevail?

 

Werther is a work that is deeply emotionally charged, wherein passionate love collides with social conventions and inner demons. The characters, endearing and tragic, embody the different facets of love and loss in a world governed by intense scopophilic duties to remain in line and act accordingly. Here’s a word of advice: bring tissues!

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Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

15 avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris

History and Fun Facts about the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

Hosting one of the most lavishing concert halls in all of Paris, Champs- Élysées is the true definition of architectural beauty with its historic foundation. Inaugurated on April 2nd, 1913, the structure is quite large comprising three auditoriums: Théâtre des Champs- Élysées, The Comédie des Champs- Élysées, Studio des Champs- Élysées, and a restaurant. The main theatre which has 1905 seats is Italian styled and originally constructed to host guests visiting the theatre to watch opera shows and concerts. This was the first theatre in Paris to be built completely from reinforced concrete instead of steel.

 

Over the years the famed theatre has hosted many recognized artists such as the beautiful cabaret dancer Josephine Baker, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and many other entertainers from our cherished olden day era. In 2005 the main room in the theatre was renovated in order to improve the acoustics, it is confirmed that during a show the sounds are very clear, almost as if you were up close to the stage. Théâtre des Champs- Élysées is one of the most frequently visited monuments in Paris, on an annual basis more than 300,000 people attend programs from contemporary dance and ballet recitals to orchestras, operas, and other concerts. Carrying a number of diverse performances of different genres, the theatre attracts audience members of all ages. 


Fast facts
Capacity: 1,905
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Air conditioning: No
Heating: Yes
Coat Check: Yes (paid service)

FAQ

How do I get to Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris?

The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is accessible by:
Metro: Line 1 (station Franklin D. Roosevelt), line 9 (station Franklin D. Roosevelt and Alma Marceau)
RER: Line C (station Pont de l’Alma)
Address: 15 avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris
In case of difficulty, our hotline can be reached during our business hours. Please see the footer of this page for our contact details.

What do I do when I get to Théâtre des Champs-Élysées?

We invite you to arrive 20 minutes before the beginning of Werther, and present your voucher at the front desk. Théâtre des Champs-Élysées’s English-speaking staff members will guide you to your seats.
The auditorium doors close as soon as the performance of Werther begins. The first latecomers are placed in late boxes with a limited number of seats.
Those who arrive later will have to wait for the interval (if there is one), watching the broadcast of the performance on screens located around the perimeter of the Orchestra, in order to get back to their seats.

How long does the opera, Werther, last?

The opera Werther at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées lasts approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes, with intermission.

Is Werther for an international audience or French speakers?

Both! The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées has been welcoming audiences from all over the world for 30 years. The opera, Werther, is sung in its original French version. Surtitles are provided in both French and English so that international audiences can appreciate this opera in this incredible Parisian venue.

Where will I be seated, and will I see the surtitles* properly?

At Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, there are a maximum of four categories available for Werther. The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées has an Italian-style auditorium, i.e. in the shape of a horseshoe. The surtitles are projected on both sides of the stage. Seats in categories 1, 2 and 3 give a good view of the stage and the surtitles. Category 4, on the other hand, offers reduced visibility.
You can find the seating plan in the theatre’s "photo" section on this page.
*Surtitles (also called supertitles) are the theatre equivalent of subtitles. That’s because in French “sur” means “above”. At Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, the text is projected on the sides of the auditorium.

Can I choose my seat when booking?

No, unfortunately it is not possible to choose your seat when booking for Werther. However, you can choose the category and we will allocate you the best seats in the chosen category!
Please note that tickets of the same category that are booked during the same purchase session, in the same booking order on our website are always assigned side by side. To be sure of this, make sure all of your tickets are in the same category and are included in your shopping cart at the time of purchase.
You can find the seating plan in the theatre’s "photo" section on this page.
If there are no available adjacent seating arrangements, our customer service team will contact you before the booking is confirmed.

Is there a dress code at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées?

There is no specific dress code at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, but proper attire is appreciated. Many Parisians will arrive directly from work, dressed in business casual or chic attire.